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  1. #16
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Any way you want to describe or analyze them, superheroes, werewolves and vampires are just humans with impossible abilities. It's up to the creator to imbue more into such a silly notion, like creating morality tales out of them. Again, steampunk isn't immune to such a treatment.

    So far, the only steampunk elements that have made it to the big screen have been patently impossible... much like shapeshifting teenagers and flying men opening portals into space or turning back time. The only thing lacking has been the execution of each idea, to wit, a Joss Whedon to pull off what a Tim Burton could not.

  2. #17
    Just out of curiosity and because I am still learning what steampunk is, would you consider the movie Hugo to have some steampunk elements in it? What with the automoton, the historical movie making, the clockwork mouses?

  3. #18
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    would you consider the movie Hugo to have some steampunk elements in it?
    Quite a few of the reviews when it came out, did so, Santaria.

    Further thoughts: Golden Compass. The Will Smith movie Wild, Wild West, and presumably the original TV series (but never seen it, so I'm guessing!)

    Neither of which was particularly successful, mind!
    Mark

  4. #19
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    The Will Smith movie Wild, Wild West, and presumably the original TV series (but never seen it, so I'm guessing!)
    LOL That is funny. I used to watch that show but I never connected it to the term steam punk since then. Yeah, it would apply. I haven't seen the movie though.

    psik

  5. #20
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santaria View Post
    Just out of curiosity and because I am still learning what steampunk is, would you consider the movie Hugo to have some steampunk elements in it? What with the automoton, the historical movie making, the clockwork mouses?
    The interest in machinery is steampunk-esque, I guess, but at the same time it's contemporary to the setting and the central to the story of the boy. So, it's just historically accurate, reflecting the time in which the story is set. Steampunk generally needs more of an historical pause on technological advancement. The same way Fantasy tends to get stuck in the medieval tech era, Steampunk is stuck in early industrial mechanical tech era -- usually due to some outside cause (apocalypse of some sort), or some other means (and sometimes for no explanation whatsoever the world is just stuck at steam). There's the same sort of fascination with the tech that you see in Hugo, but personally I wouldn't call Hugo steampunk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
    Any way you want to describe or analyze them, superheroes, werewolves and vampires are just humans with impossible abilities. It's up to the creator to imbue more into such a silly notion, like creating morality tales out of them. Again, steampunk isn't immune to such a treatment.
    Agreed, it's not immune -- however, I haven't really seen it. I'm willing to give it a chance, if such a thing exists.

    The only thing lacking has been the execution of each idea, to wit, a Joss Whedon to pull off what a Tim Burton could not.
    Are you referring to particular films here? Or their general aesthetic? Just curious.

    The Golden Compass, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen... these two (at least) would indicate that steampunk is potentially a viable SFF hybrid, which is generally considered an impossible either/or proposition. That, at least, is intriguing. Thoughts?

  6. #21
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fung Koo View Post
    Are you referring to particular films here? Or their general aesthetic? Just curious.
    Well, my naming of Whedon and Burton was my way of comparing Whedon's The Avengers to the Burton Batman movies in terms of their successful and unsuccessful handling of the subject matter. Choose any genre, and there are samples of good and bad handling that make the difference... Hill Street Blues vs T.J. Hooker... Titanic vs. The Poseidon Adventure. The point is just that any subject needs proper handling. And I'd say that steampunk hasn't been handed to the right person/production team to do it right (with a possible exception, mentioned below).

    Quote Originally Posted by Fung Koo View Post
    The Golden Compass, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen... these two (at least) would indicate that steampunk is potentially a viable SFF hybrid, which is generally considered an impossible either/or proposition. That, at least, is intriguing. Thoughts?
    As I said above, I think SP is viable as an SFF hybrid, if given the proper material and production team. Another example of steampunk-esque tech would be the Hellboy movies, which have been much more successful than the other movies mentioned, but are so filled with fantasy elements that I think they overwhelm the steampunk elements in most viewers' minds. Still, those elements are clearly there, and they work.
    Last edited by Steven L Jordan; November 4th, 2012 at 10:55 AM.

  7. #22
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    I think you just went to a party with people who didn't know what steampunk was. My daughter did a steampunk costume last year for Halloween. She had a variety of costumes to choose from, a large number of accessories and nobody was particularly confused about her costume. Steampunk is essentially a literary movement used for (mostly alt history) science fiction, fantasy and horror stories and a stylistic trend in fashion, decor, multimedia, art and to a more sub-level, lifestyle. You can buy tons and tons of steampunk stuff, most of which is very popular. Steampunk has a lot of involvement in comics. Sherlock Holmes was reimagined by Guy Ritchie as steampunk to great success in both films. Steampunk is having a very nice run in fantasy. Both Priest and Scott Westerfeld's series have done very well. Paul Anderson also steampunked The Three Musketeers, which didn't do that well domestically, but did well foreign for a modest success. Kung-fu cinema has been having fun with steampunk and a new one, Man with the Iron Fists, is coming out with Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu, etc. So no, not really a dying thing.

  8. #23
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    I think you just went to a party with people who didn't know what steampunk was.
    Two, actually. And a bar. But who's counting? I'm not doubting that there are steampunk fans out there. But no, I don't personally run into much evidence of them "in the wild."

  9. #24
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    A movement become a fad.

    My sense of it is that it is now become like the Egyptian Empire: static and dead in all meaningful ways, but likely to last a long time.

    It has, that is, devolved from an interesting concept in which new ideas could be and were hatched into just another flavor of Extruded Fantasy Product, the literary equivalent of "Chablis" and "Burgundy" jug wine (for those who remember the '60s and '70s).

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Fung Koo View Post
    I also really disliked Firefly/Serenity -- cowboy spacepunk.

    Well, it's taken several years but you've finally said something I completely disagree with. It had so much potential.


    Randy M.

  11. #26
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobbit View Post
    Further thoughts: Golden Compass. The Will Smith movie Wild, Wild West, and presumably the original TV series (but never seen it, so I'm guessing!)
    Meant to reply to this earlier: The Wild, Wild West TV show was filled with infernal machines and James Bond-ish gadgets powered by steam, springs, water, gunpowder, etc... and, of course, the heroes traveled the west by Iron Horse. Yes, it was steampunk, and the tech was usually outlandish. But the show was supposed to be an old west James Bond-style adventure. It's actually a good example of steampunk elements fitting into a show that wasn't strictly about steampunk, and it worked well (the show was very popular).

  12. #27
    Palinodic Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
    Two, actually. And a bar. But who's counting? I'm not doubting that there are steampunk fans out there. But no, I don't personally run into much evidence of them "in the wild."
    Well you're not a sixteen year old girl buying jewelry, a gamer or a fashion designer playing with corsets and rivets. (And apparently go to stodgy bars and parties *smiley face*) But it's quite popular in fashion, which is why Prada made it their men's line and had celebrities model it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/fa...PUNK.html?_r=0
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/steampunk/pr...-for-fall-3n9d
    http://www.vancouversun.com/business...092/story.html
    http://www.gameinformer.com/b/featur...ostPageIndex=1



    There were three big steampunk films last year (plus smaller ones) -- Sherlock II, Three Musketeers and nominally Hugo. Hugo flopped, but not because it had steampunk, the other two were hits, Sherlock II a large one. We had more superheroes this year, but up-coming movies like Hansel and Gretal: Witchhunters, Man with the Iron Fists, Oz: The Great and Powerful, probably The Lone Ranger, Pacific Rim is probably going to borrow some steampunk elements with their giant robots, etc., show that it continues to be milked there. And in written fiction, steampunk is doing very well. Now, is there perhaps not a ton of alternate history steampunk SF? I'd say probably yes, as it was never a very big part of SF and alternate history has been expanding in all directions. In doing SF stories in which there's a planet that is steampunk like, etc., there's some more there. Fantasy obviously has found it a good fit, with it being a major core for historical fantasy and becoming a popular option in secondary world fantasy, plus the re-flush of weird fiction which often uses steampunk. Steampunk was never a big player in horror, and I don't think that's changed. It's doing really well in YA. And zombies and steampunk oddly went together, so there's been some of that. Romance is delving into steampunk in a big way. It's popped up on t.v. and the new show Revolution has a steampunk swashbuckle mandate. So basically it's spreading, although culturally it's had a bigger impact on jewelry, fashion, decor and comics/games than maybe the entire written SFFH field. I don't think you can say it's dying. There's too much of it.
    Last edited by KatG; November 5th, 2012 at 09:02 PM.

  13. #28
    >:|Angry Beaver|:< Fung Koo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy M. View Post
    Well, it's taken several years but you've finally said something I completely disagree with. It had so much potential.


    Randy M.
    I seem to alienate lots of people when I tell them of my disdain for all things Whedon.

    I didn't care for the new Avengers movie at all -- though of all the things he's done, it was the least bad.

  14. #29
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fung Koo View Post
    I also really disliked Firefly/Serenity -- cowboy spacepunk.
    I won't go so far as to say I disliked it I just didn't like it much.

    The Objects in Space episode was good. I fail to see why such a big deal is made of it. It can't touch Babylon 5.

    psik
    Last edited by psikeyhackr; November 6th, 2012 at 09:19 AM.

  15. #30
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    I agree with Kat to some degree. It seems that Steampunk is more... an influence or a set of elements than a genre, at least in the more successful iterations. It's not even a recent phenomenon, L.E. Modesitt, Jr. had steampunk elements in his early Recluce books, and they surfaced again in his much more recent Imager Portfolio. Even H.G. Wells used what we'd now consider Steampunk elements (or was it Clockpunk? I forget). I think it's a really strange place to explore, though, as it's quite a bit after the industrial revolution and it's based on branches of invention stagnating.

    I think the aesthetics of Steampunk have carried over well into video games, though. The Baldur's Gate games have a bit of a Steampunk aesthetic at times, but there's games like BioShock (particularly the upcoming BioShock Infinite) that have really taken this idea of steam-powered machinery and run with it. Off the top of my head, I don't think it's really carried into comics too much, but British sci-fi anthology 2000AD has, in the past two or so months, started to contain a Steampunk-style story called Brass Sun which is doing pretty well, I think.

    I think it's also quite a mixed genre that few can really navigate or understand. Example: I've heard Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan and its sequels referred to as Steampunk, when if you actually read it it's pretty clear that it's Dieselpunk (and pretty much explicitly states that).

    I've also forgotten where this post was going, and it's hard to type.

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